Statement: The picture shows the “Christmas Star” taken by the Hubble Telescope
Jupiter and Saturn are aligned in the night sky this week. The appearance of these two planets is closer than since the Middle Ages, and many people call them the “Christmas Star.”
Social media users shared photos of the phenomenon online, and one of the viral images was widely circulated on Facebook to show the Christmas star captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
“The Star of Bethlehem taken by Hubble-Wow!”
Another user wrote: “It was taken from the Hubble Telescope the day before,” accompanied by a picture of a larger bright star surrounded by a smaller star.
A user shared the same image text, “The Hubble Telescope of the Christmas Star. Amazing things did not begin to describe it.”
“USA Today” contacted the user behind the statement.
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The image is an illustration
After Google conducted a reverse search of the photo, it found that the image was only an illustration and was not captured by the Hubble Telescope.
The illustration can be seen on Getty Images, with the title “Glowing Stars Stock Vector Space Background-Stock Vector”.
The title of the image reads: “The feature of this vector illustration is the space with a slightly bright star on top. It is a combination of small distant stars and crossed light refraction, combining bright colors, including vivid blue and white. Use reflection Harmony paints a sense of depth. The image has faded color tones.”
The same image can also be seen on iStock Photo, which states that the illustration was uploaded to the website on June 1, 2015, further indicating that the image was not taken recently.
According to “USA Today” reports, actual photos of the rare “Christmas Star” phenomenon show that Jupiter and Saturn are close to two points in a dark sky, while Saturn, which is farther from the earth, is a dark spot.
Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University, told USA Today that “people will have to work a little bit” to witness this combination, and the two planets “will not suddenly look like a bright one “Christmas Star”.”
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Our rating: error
According to our research, an image that claims to show the “Christmas Star” taken by the Hubble Space Telescope is FALSE. The image is an illustration from 2015 and is not similar to a real close-coupled photo of Jupiter and Saturn.
Source of our fact check:
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This article originally appeared in “USA Today”: Fact Check: Viral Christmas star illustration, not a photo taken by Hubble